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Everything posted by DutchMuse

  1. THANK YOU FG! Ed Mitchell's will be first on my list.
  2. I'll be going as a first timer. Any 'hints' on which stands to go to first--i.e. "in demand?" Help me guys!
  3. He doesn't 'hint' he outright says it. And it comports with my experience. Still, congrats to GT! Great for them.
  4. There's definitely something to be said for "real names policy" on bulletin boards. Cuts out lots of the BS.
  5. I often take wine to a restaurant for those that allow BYOB. Frequently, we will share with both the server and the chef(s)/kitchen staff. Why not?
  6. Another vote for Eleven Madison Park--most creative high level food in NYC at the moment.
  7. DutchMuse


    I completely agree with you....it just amazes me that Bruni (or others for that matter) swoon over this place. My only belief is they've never been to Belgium or Holland (I mention Holland as at least one menu item--Bitterballen--is from the Netherlands) and had the real thing. My visit there was before his review, and the kitchen was not swamped at all--probably 1/2 the tables were occupied. That said, I stopped by Markt on Saturday for a beer and a croquette and it was quite tasty--the 'real deal' like you'd find in Belgium.
  8. (No way does Otto deserve 2 stars except for the name behind it but that's beside the point). Interesting about Katz's being reviewed. I have no problem with it, except I seem to recall a rumor that the building they're in might be sold? Does anyone know about this?
  9. Hi Bu Pun Su Haven't been to his Macau restaurant, but what is wrong with The Mansion is...well, almost everything. The atmosphere is ok if you consider the venue (somewhat bordello, but of course isn't everything in Vegas?), but they have a notice requiring jackets/ties for gentleman....but several people were there in shorts and/or jeans and t-shirts. OK...let's ignore that. They had a petit fours cart near the entrance, and people who came in to the restaurant gathered around it and, with their fingers, began picking sweets off it before being seated. OK...that's not the restaurant's fault, so let's ignore it...but it IS part of the atmosphere. I never saw that at Jamin. Still, not fair to blame the restaurant. My partner does not like any seafood, including caviar. My first course was blanched asparagus with a canal cut into each of 2 speaks with caviar put into the canals (Robuchon, at Jamin, I doubt would have done something so plain). Anyway....for my partner's first course, he got 3 asparagus spears blanched with no canal and no caviar. See what I mean by 'paint by number?' They couldn't create a different, special first course for him. Shocking for a restaurant of that supposed quality and price. The rest of the food was remarkably ordinary and not remarkable. In fact, our captain even, obliquely, commented that "Guy Savoy is in town" the night we were there and hinted we should have gone there. Robuchon's dishes you mention above are classics. They're no longer cutting edge or profound but in the day, they were beautifully done and creative for the era. So yes, many chefs are 'catching up' but the question is--who is now pushing the envelope as Robuchon did in his day? In one way, Robuchon continues to push the envelope by creating an almost informal venue (l'Atelier) with Michelin 2 star food. Pretty good. Current favs? Hmmmmm....in NY...Eleven Madison for the cooking; Jean Georges; Guy Savoy Paris; .....for home-like atmosphere and great wine...l'Ameloise in Burgundy.....I could go on and on but it depends on the 'category.' The above are for haute cuisine....but there are many I could list.
  10. Balducci's on 14th carries several Tom Cat breads.
  11. I had the fortune of eating both at Jamin, and then at the short-lived Robuchon (as I think it was called)...the same space that Ducasse took over after Robuchon. The best meal of my life to date was at Jamin. What made it so special? Well: First, the food. Each dish was both creative and prepared to perfection, artfully. Its been decades since I was there but I'll never forget many of the dishes. The food was mind blowing, and would still be considered creative by today's standards. Second, the service. It was true Michelin ***. Flawless service; small number of tables (wasn't it something like 17?). The sommelier was great and knew the winelist inside and out. Also, unhurried. I think I was there 4 or more hours and enjoyed every minute. I've been to l'Atelier twice and The Mansion in Las Vegas once. Neither bears any resemblance to Jamin. The Mansion aspires, apparently, to that standard but--if I may be so candid--it is a joke by comparison. The cooks there seem to "paint [cook] by number". Not that creative. Attempts at haute cuisine and service but they miss it by a mile. Food is not that creative, not that well executed, wine list is insultingly overpriced, etc. Don't get me started. l'Atelier is much better, and my two meals there have been remarkable but nothing like Jamin. Food is creative and outstanding--just not in the same league as Jamin. Its more of an artisinal but still "mass market" version of his food. Why the difference? I think its where his 'head' is at these days. He has decided to cash in and make money--nothing wrong with that. But unlike Jamin, which was small and his 'baby' where he was in the kitchen and created/crafted *** cuisine, he has decided to franchise by training top level chefs and cooks to re-create his vision. Nothing wrong with that. But there's a reason that a copy of a Rembrandt--even by his most talented of students--goes for a fraction of a price that a true Rembrandt painting sells for. Even if it takes x-rays and a team of specialists to authenticate it as a copy versus an original Rembrandt, its not the same and the price reflects it. For me, the best version of Robuchon's cuisine today is at l'Atelier--either in Paris or New York. But it bears no resemblance to Jamin. I think what made Jamin special was the creative 'terroir' driven cuisine...inventive and the height of quality. Probably couldn't say that about l'Atelier, and certainly not--not even close--about The Mansion. Plus the service. If I had to pick one chef today in the USA who most closely approximates the actual cooking and inventiveness of the food at Jamin, it would be Daniel Humm. The setting isn't even close, nor is the service (just too many tables/covers etc. and they don't aspire to Michelin *** experiene) but the food is nearly as inventive and quality driven.
  12. Good points, FG. Thanks for adding details.
  13. My assumption was that the diner would tip on the whole check and it would be given to the server to be distributed as all tips are handled. I wasn't thinking (or meant to imply) it should be given specifically to the sommelier only. The 33% would be the gratuity left based on the whole check.
  14. Brad's tipping formula is probably a better one to use. It really is a privilege to BYOB and if they are waiving corkage, that's even more generous on their part. Brad, you're right.
  15. Dave This is a bit illogical--you say Chang doesn't serve the dinner menu at the Ssam bar because the "mass crowd in the East Village" will only spend $10 or $15 at lunchtime. Then you say the Noodle Bar serves the full menu at lunch (apparently successfully). Given the attention his lunch menu (or lack thereof) is receiving, it seems to me (and indirectly acknowledged by his Noodle Bar lunch, apparently per the above) there's a market for his dinner menu at lunchtime at Ssam.
  16. My experience mirrors Sheraton's comments, exactly. My first visit there was for lunch; what a mediocre meal! Shockingly mediocre. Yes, it may be a korean Chipotle, but if the chef of Chipotle had won the Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year award, I'd complain about their food, too. I've been twice for dinner; yes, completely different. But why would one want to prepare and serve, at best, mediocre food at lunch that is so different from dinner. I don't understand it.
  17. Very touching post, Jmahl. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Very touching indeed.
  18. DutchMuse


    I should also mention that I speak dutch and have lived in Amsterdam as well, so I have a good idea what dutch and belgian food is.
  19. DutchMuse


    I am dutch but I was born and raised in America. But I go to Holland often.
  20. DutchMuse


    Hi Sneakeater....the restaurant was about 1/2 full when we went. The "meatballs" are bitterballen...they're not actually meatballs but a 'gravy' of sorts with (at least in Holland) veal and a crumb coating outside. They are supposed to be a light golden and not greasy. The ones I had were dark brown, almost a roux color, greasy, and not the right consistency. They tasted of inexpensive cooking oil.
  21. DutchMuse


    I may have just been on an off night, but the one night I went the food was shockingly poor. The food bore little resemblance to 'real' dutch (in the case of bitterballen) or belgian (rest of the menu) food, but aside from that, the cooking was just poor. All night after the meal I had the taste of not very good cooking oil in my mouth. I left with the feeling that the chef was perhaps average at best and actually knew little about belgian food as it should be.
  22. Your description totally comports with my experience there. Perfectly fine dinner; well executed but I wouldn't rush back. In fact, I probably wouldn't go back given the competition in NYC unless there was some event or reason to go there out of the norm.
  23. I've heard about him. Where will the restaurant be located?
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